Last week, just in time for Christmas, I had a piece in The Atlantic, about why romantic comedies about the holiday season are so singularly dreadful. The main reason, I propose, is that they bring together people who are completely incompatible. So truly, madly, and deeply incompatible, in fact, that they might be better off alone:
It’s not a controversial idea: The holidays are a time to be with the ones you love. It doesn’t matter what you give, but who you give it to. Presence, not presents. Etc.
Romantic comedies about the holiday season embrace this totally valid message, but take it farther. Togetherness and cheer is one thing; panic over momentary singledom is another. In the world of romantic comedies, the holidays are often used as an excuse to bring together people who, quite frankly, might be better off alone.
Read the rest here.